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Kólga - Black Tides review




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6.44
Band: Kólga
Album: Black Tides
Style: Black metal, Blackened surf rock
Release date: March 2024


01. Space Beach Massacre
02. Squall Of Cthulhu
03. Tethys
04. Riptide
05. Endless Bummer
06. Is This Real?
07. The Kraken

Remember those "original Trve Kvlt surf music" vids on YouTube of surf music versions of black metal? What if a band did that for an entire record, but with original music?

If there's one thing that those surf rock black metal covers showed us is how surprisingly similar the guitar playing of the two genres are, and how that tremolo-picking just needs its distortion added or removed to switch between the two genres. That's about where the similarities end, but with how fundamentally significant the guitar playing is in both of these genres, that was enough to build this whole gimmick of combining the two. As funny as the thought of a person in corpse paint surfing is, at some point the similarities between the two end. Surf rock just ain't got that frost, man. You can't surf your way through Blashyrkh.

Sure, black metal is often seen as cold and frosty and there have been exceptions to that rule, from Wayfarer to Vallendusk to Fluisteraars. But there is something as a line that, once crossed, it just feels wrong. That wrongness is kind of the point with something as clearly comical as the entire concept that Kólga go for, and that kind of wrongness is also something that does feel somewhat exciting to chase. Those original videos were well made but the silliness relied mostly on how absurd the concept was, and once that has been prototyped, having effort put into building surf black metal from zero rather than adapting already made black metal is indeed more exciting.

You can tell Black Tides is a debut, even with the experience of the band members, with ties to bands like Dead To A Dying World and Cleric (USA-TX). There's a feeling that there is a lot of room for improvement and that the band is still figuring out how to actually make something as wildly out there as this. But Black Tides works much better than the sheer concept of its existence would give it the right to. The atmospheric black metal expertise is obvious, the psychedelic rock organs are an amazing touch, and even though I listened to infinitely (not really) more black metal than surf rock, the moments that are so over the top in their... uhh... surfness... just put a smile on my face.

Black Tides falls in that weird spot where it is much better than just the conceptual gimmick it's going for but it also feels like there's room to develop and this was just a test drive for that sound. Time will tell whether that room to develop is filled or whether Black Tides is as far as surf black metal goes.






Written on 09.04.2024 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments

Comments: 4   Visited by: 89 users
09.04.2024 - 19:28
Rating: 7
F3ynman
Nocturnal Bro
Contributor
I've been binge-listening to The Mayhems, The Burzums, The Immortals, and The Emperors for the past couple of hours. This playlist, as well as the comments and the descriptions, are so awesome! ("the Burzums' legendary surf LP Filosofem (literally "Surf's Up" in English)" )
I need more of this Totally Radical Wave of Norwegian Surf Metal
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11.04.2024 - 18:33
roeder
For a fraction of a second I thought this is the same Kólga that featured Austin Lunn and had a great demo back in 2012. my excitement vanished very quickly right after seeing the cover artwork
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12.04.2024 - 01:30
Nejde
CommunityManager
Moderator
The idea of it is much better than the execution. I really wanted to like this more than I did.
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22.04.2024 - 00:19
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Staff
Written by F3ynman on 09.04.2024 at 19:28

I've been binge-listening to The Mayhems, The Burzums, The Immortals, and The Emperors for the past couple of hours. This playlist, as well as the comments and the descriptions, are so awesome! ("the Burzums' legendary surf LP Filosofem (literally "Surf's Up" in English)" )
I need more of this Totally Radical Wave of Norwegian Surf Metal

That's funny, I was listening to that exact playlist while adding the band profile. As hilarious as "I Am The Surf Wizards" and "Ea, Lord Of The Waves" are, the playlist has a major and almost unforgivable flaw: it's missing the oldest, most well-known, and greatest surf (black) metal song of all time. It's a track that, thanks to Quentin Tarantino, truly every movie lover and every metalhead knows.
Here's a live version from the year 1995 and I think it's metal as fuck.



Dick Dale first performed "Misirlou" in 1962, so The Beach Boys essentially stole the idea from him to record their version for Surfin' U.S.A. (1963). Even more interestingly, the (significantly slower-paced) original is at least 100 years old, as it's a folk song from the eastern Mediterranean region that was already known in Greece and other parts of the former Ottoman Empire around 1920.
I think we can't thank Dick 'The King of the Surf Guitar' Dale enough for what he did for (heavy/black/surf) metal, because he not only popularized tremolo picking, but he also compelled Fender to build the first 100-watt guitar amplifier and the Fender Reverb Unit. One could indeed say that he was the very first heavy metal guitarist, because before him, no one was even able to play electric guitar as loudly and as rapidly with such a dense sound. The technical capabilities just didn't exist.

But I digress... Thanks to Radu for the review and for the opportunity to finally pay tribute to Dick Dale (RIP). I've always wanted to do that, but the opportunity never arose.
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